Ver Angola

Raw Materials

Lobito Corridor debuts as a commercial route with agreement to transport minerals

Trafigura and Kamoa-Kakula signed, this Wednesday, an agreement that aims to transport minerals, for a minimum period of six years, through LAR – Atlantic Lobito Corridor, the company responsible for managing the Lobito Corridor.

: Charlie Sperring
Charlie Sperring  

With this signing, which took place during the Mining Indaba, the "first long-term commercial commitments" with the aforementioned corridor are marked.

"The terms of this agreement, whose clauses are confidential, were signed during the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, and mark the first long-term commercial commitments with the Lobito Corridor, a new import and export trade route between the African Copper Belt and the Atlantic coast of Angola", says a statement sent to VerAngola.

Following the signing of the agreement, Jeremy Weir, Executive Chairman and CEO of Trafigura, said they were pleased to be "one of the first customers" to enter into a long-term agreement with LAR.

"We are pleased to be one of the first customers to sign a long-term contract with LAR, to use the services it offers in the Lobito Corridor. We now hope that other customers will join Ivanhoe Mines and Trafigura in the coming months", he stated, mentioned in the statement.

The official also said that the agreement signed this Wednesday "and the commitments made aim to help LAR boost the transport capacity of the Lobito Corridor and transform it, in fact, into the main and most relevant railway connection in Sub-Saharan Africa".

In turn, the founder and executive co-president of Ivanhoe Mines, Robert Friedland, said they admired "the hard work of the consortium responsible for managing the Lobito Corridor and Trafigura, who have been working intensively with their partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, to build a new supply chain that is quickly becoming one of the most important trade routes for the transport of metallic copper, a mineral that is vital for the entire world."

He further considered that this corridor "will unlock other copper projects" because of "lower logistical costs".

"This important economic corridor will unlock other copper projects due to lower logistics costs. A cost-effective logistics chain increases the amount of economically recoverable copper across the Copperbelt as cut-off grades can be reduced. This has a significant impact on discoveries made in the DRC, such as the recent discovery of high-quality, open-ended Kitoko copper in the Western Foreland, where we are intensifying exploration activities this year to find more ultra-green copper metal. I remind you that Kitoko is just 30 kilometers from the existing railway line", he pointed out.

According to the statement, the Lobito Corridor is expected to reach "an annual export capacity of one million tons per year before the end of this decade".

"Trafigura's export capacity allocation through LAR will be up to 450,000 tonnes per year from 2025. Additionally, the Kamoa-Kakula copper complex, a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining, has been allocated a minimum capacity of 120,000 tons and up to 240,000 tons per year of copper products – blister-anode or concentrate – from 2025, with an initial commitment of 10,000 tons to be transported in 2024, as the Lobito Corridor increases the its operability", the note reads.

It is recalled that in 2022, the consortium (composed of Trafigura, Mota-Engil and Vecturis) obtained the concession for three decades for the operation, management and maintenance of the Lobito Corridor and the mineral terminal at the port of Lobito.

"The Lobito Corridor rehabilitation project benefits from the support of the governments of Angola, DRC, Zambia and the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII) of the US government", says the statement, which adds that "the project represents an investment of more than 500 million dollars over the life of the concession, with potential financing of at least 250 million dollars from the US International Development Finance Corporation", which investment will make it possible to renew sections of the railway line and associated infrastructure, in addition to ensuring "the acquisition of over 1500 wagons and 35 locomotives".


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